You light the jasmine incense. Smoke becomes a bird, a feather, then disappears. You sit on the floor, the line of your back west to east, and balance between this room and the sun in a turquoise sea. You have offered your heart to calmness. It touches objects at rest: the crimson towel hung to dry on its brass hook, the steaming blue teapot, lemon slices wedged beside two porcelain cups, the white resolve of linen. At the window, the snow’s vacancy. A trumpeter in a fur hat stands near the apothecary, floats his Ode to Joy up to our room. You breathe deeply. Quiet comes from your center, as from the core of a pear, not from hard edges or gravity of stones or a house. You have given up our house in the suburbs where neighbors, you say, breast-feed their lawns. You returned your father’s name in a letter. You have given up man-made fibers, the skins of chickens and what lies beneath. Shopping malls, you say — there are no roots beneath concrete. In my green chair, I try to read Kafka, but cannot keep from watching you, thinking, That whole body came out of me. Your torso now bends, lithe as the reach of stem from a pond, your hair floats on the rug. You must know how water is, its wet short life. I have not told you how I admire the arch of your back, more graceful than a dolphin’s rising from translucent water into the wide expectant sky.